A1 Journal article (refereed), original research (Journal article, original research)

Upper secondary school students’ gendered interests in electronics and electrical engineering

Publication Details

Authors: Naukkarinen Johanna, Korpinen Katriina, Silventoinen Pertti

Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge): SSH Titles

Publication year: 2021

Language: English

Related journal or series: Research in Science and Technological Education

ISSN: 0263-5143

eISSN: 1470-1138

JUFO level of this publication: 1

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02635143.2021.2008342

Permanent website address: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02635143.2021.2008342

Open Access: Not an Open Access publication


Background: Engineering societies call for more gender diversity, but especially girls’ interest in engineering remains low. Basic Electronics is a bachelor-level study module, offered to upper secondary school students to attract them to study electrical engineering. Recently, on average, 34% of the upper secondary school students attending the module have been girls, yet only 13% of the new electrical engineering students are female.
Purpose: The objective of this study is to understand what kinds of upper secondary school students have interest in STEM in general and electronics in particular but are not considering electrical engineering as a future career.
Sample and design: A questionnaire was administered to participants (age 17–18) in the Basic Electronics module in years 2017–2020 (N = 119), and the data were statistically analyzed.
Results/Conclusion: Both genders seem to be interested on the practical and hands-on aspects of technology. Yet, boys are much more likely to consider studies in electrical engineering than girls. Boys receive more encouragement and guidance to act with technology both from home and from school. They also have more often technology-related hobbies. Hence, the current image of electrical engineering and other societal factors appear to be more likely to attract boys than girls to the field even among the adolescents with high general interest in STEM subjects.

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Last updated on 2021-09-12 at 15:36